Scott Brown will walk straight back into the Celtic team as soon as he is fit.

Celtic have hit a bit of a purple patch – Sunday excepted – of late with the midfield in particular hitting a really impressive vein of form. Ryan Christie has been superb, Callum McGregor in that role that Brown plays has been outstanding and we have seen Scott Sinclair look a bit more like himself. James Forrest has been on fire and Tom Rogic is a guy you expect to do something special whenever he is on the pitch.

But Brown has earned the right to go straight back into the team. He deserves to come straight back in as he drives Celtic forward but what I would also say is that Brendan has a decision on his hands now on who he leaves out.

I have heard a few people say that they would be interested to see if Brown would really have to fight to get back into the starting line-up but for me he plays every day of the week.

He is the skipper, he is the leader and before he went out injured he was Scott Brown. The name itself is synonymous with Celtic at the minute.

In recent seasons I think he is playing as well as he has ever played. There has been a bit of a resurgence in results and performance but if I am picking that team that Brown walks straight back in.

The tempo at times without Brown has been good – but it has been good with him in there as well. There will be some people who will look to voice an opinion but for me personally you can’t discredit what he has brought to the team.

He has been magnificent. He breaks up the team, he organises and he is one of the fittest players in the squad. He has great legs and he is a leader. It was the same in my time at Celtic with Neil Lennon – you really appreciated what he did when he wasn’t there.

He just brings that balance for me.

But to get back to Christie for a minute. He is thoroughly deserving of that new contract and I just think he is the classic example of a boy who has seized his chance.

Any time I found myself out of the team I found it really tough from a mental point of view. You have to really keep your focus and make sure that you are ready to hit the ground running running as soon as you get a chance.

For me that meant a lot of physical work because while most players don’t need too much work physically even when they are not playing, my body frame meant I really had to go and do a bit extra to work my body if I wasn’t playing.

Christie looks as though he has not only kept his focus but has done the hard graft in the gym too and what you see now is his reward.

He has been outstanding over the last few weeks. I watched him at Aberdeen a couple of times and I used to think that he could play at Celtic. I’m delighted for him that he has kept his head and believed in his ability.

I just don’t think that he will be the one to make way when Brown comes back, likely after the international break. But I also think that it is a decision that Brendan Rodgers will enjoy having to make.

I’m excited to see just how Christie develops over the next couple of seasons because he will draw so much belief from playing regularly and he really does have something to offer.

I also think with Stuart Armstrong gone that Christie is a player who can give you legs to break through lines and get in behind defences. You saw it last week against Leipzig when he had such a big part in teeing up Odsonne Edouard for the winning goal.

I actually think that Christie brings options to the team because he is disciplined enough to sit in that central midfield pairing alongside Brown or he has the ability to play as a more attacking midfielder.

He is a clever player and I also think that he always strikes me as having a really good attitude to the game.

It is all well and good turning up for the big European nights, for the derbies and the games where you are in front of a packed crowd and the place is jumping but you also need players who can roll up their sleeves on a wet and windy Tuesday night at Kilmarnock.

You can’t have luxury players at Celtic. They need to be on it and want it every time they pull on the jersey and Christie gives you that.

As does Brown.